Just released podcast episode 6. Here some extra thoughts on it that I didn't mention.
This episode ran for 43 minutes, but there was a lot of stuff I said in this one.
Here are a few extra thoughts in addition to what was said.
Concerning the black Squier Strat...
What I did with that guitar was just something I had to do. It was one of those things where had I done otherwise, I simply would not have been happy.
Happiness is the key thing - if not the most important thing - when it comes to any guitar you own. And if you're not happy, you have to do something about it. I did what I did, and as I said, I have no regrets.
Concerning Fender Custom Shop guitars...
Once you hear that one annoying issue I mentioned that happens with almost every guitar that comes out of the Fender Custom Shop, you probably won't ever want one... unless you specifically order one the way I described. Do that, and the likelihood of you getting a guitar you love will greatly increase.
Remember, it's called "custom shop" for a reason. You can custom order what you want. The problem is that most people don't know what to order. Again, if you get one like I described, then you will know what to order (presuming you're committed to dropping that kind of cash just for a guitar).
Also remember that the "mod shop" from Fender is not the same as the Fender Custom Shop. It's nice Fender offers the mod shop, but what you can custom order is limited. With the actual custom shop, you can customize everything with no limitations. That's the main difference.
Concerning the Squier Bullet Telecaster and other Squier Bullet guitars...
The tuner thing I mentioned there should be an easy thing to replace, but forgot to mention something fairly important. I don't know the tuner hole size. But as a guess, I believe it's 10mm. If it is, that makes it much easier to swap tuners out because you get a lot of tuner replacement choice when the holes are that diameter.
I say this because if you think you can just run out and install Fender tuners on a Bullet series Squier, you can't do that as far as I know. But fortunately there are several other good replacement options that will work out just fine.
If you currently have a Bullet Telecaster and are thinking about tuner replacement, step number 1 is take a tuner out and measure the hole. Use a vernier caliper as that is the easiest thing to measure the hole with.